Tributes paid as second world war veteran dies, aged 95

Loving tributes have been paid to a former Downham Market mayor who died on Monday.

The family of William 'Bill' Doy have described the great-grandfather as a 'good old Norfolk boy'.

The 95-year-old was a familiar face around Downham Market having been elected mayor twice between 1982 and 1984 and was president of the town's chamber of trade.

He was also one of the founder members of the town's Lions club, as well as a being a town and borough councillor. He also represented Norfolk in bowls.

Last night, his son Geoff said: 'He was always very interested in Downham Market and the people living there. He was very sociable, could speak to kings and paupers and wanted to be involved in everything in the town.'

Born in Hilgay, near Downham Market, in 1916, Bill attended his village school and the King Edward Vll Grammar School in King's Lynn.

After the outbreak of the second world war in 1939, Bill volunteered for aircrew and after training to be a radio operator and a gunner, he completed his first tour with 7 squadron which included the first 1,000 bomber raid on Cologne.

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He was also in the air during the D-Day landings in 1944 and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross later the same year. Bill left the Armed Forces in 1946 and went on to work at Downham-based Heygates Mill for 30 years and retired as general manager. He had married wife Joan in 1942 and they had five children; Adrian, Mike, Geoff, Pam and Monica. Joan passed away in 1993 and Mike died two years ago. Bill also leaves behind 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Daughter Pam, who still lives in Downham Market, continued: 'As a father he was absolutely smashing. He loved his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren very much and he also had lots of great friends in and around Downham.'

A funeral service will take place at Mintlyn Crematorium, near King's Lynn, on Tuesday, December 6 at 3.15pm. All are welcome to attend.

Only family flowers are requested, but donations to the RAF Benevolent Fund can be made via A.J. Coggles funeral directors in Downham Market.

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